Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities Sibiu




Project coordinator: Nicolae-Alexandru Nicolaescu

Project member: Julia Derzsi

Project objective: the evaluation of the Romanian and foreign historiography regarding the popular newspapers and their critical and comparative analysis, with a special emphasis on the specialized literature from Central and South-Eastern Europe, in order to determine how similar they were.

Project description:

The subject of the project is represented by the research of the Romanian popular newspapers from Transylvania. These publications tried to translate the academic messages and expressions into words easily understood by the peasants, in accordance with their level of education. The main task of the Romanian popular newspapers was to educate the rural masses, to familiarize them with the basic political, moral and economic notions, the political propaganda and the ideological control exercised at the base of the society. In order to achieve the proposed goals, they published popularization articles with a varied content, from simple agricultural pieces of advice to indications on how to use agricultural machines and from the literature section to the fashion one. The project aims to analyze the typology of this type of publication and to highlight the differences between the popular newspapers and other types of publications. We will not limit ourselves to the inventory of newspapers, but we will try to determine to what extent they achieved their goal of cultural education and political propaganda, revealing the share of educational or political goals. The way in which the Romanian popular newspapers from Transylvania managed to create a system of dissemination of cultural and political information in the Romanian rural environment at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century will also be highlighted. The measures must be compared with the similar actions taken by other nationalities in Central and South-Eastern Europe, because the process of supporting a press dedicated to reaching the peasant masses has been widespread in this region. In other words, we want to see how the level of education and information reached by the peasantry of Central and South-Eastern European led to the formulation of the political and educational demands of the period.

From a methodological point of view, our approach is a qualitative research which does not ignore quantitative research where needed (archival research - central and county archives; research of popular newspapers and journals; the dissemination of materials similar to the popular newspapers, for example calendars and popular brochures).


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